Let it Snow

A Little Snow

Here’s a picture of my balcony from inside my apartment right now. It’s still snowing.

Good times. I’ll post again if it accumulates significantly higher, and I remember to take another picture. I went to the grocery store yesterday and it was a madhouse. I just wanted some laundry detergent, but I ended up having to leave and go home. Shopping carts were wrapped around the building. People were yelling at one another about their place in line. The whole thing was a disaster. It appears that some parts of Massachusetts are even in a “State of Emergency.”




Landmark Day

Yesterday, January 19th, was the first day of the winter season that I had to turn my heat on. I has dropped below zero several times this season so far, but I guess the recent culmination of consecutive cold days pushed my apartment’s temperature down so low I actually had to turn on the heat.

This year, with the addition of a new computer (for a total of 5 running full time), I thought I could finally heat my one bedroom through the winter on the power of consumer electronics alone. Between that and the fact that I live on the top floor, and thereby get heat leaking in from the people below me, the unit generally keeps itself warm.

There’s really no reason for me to want to make it through the winter without turning on the heat – heat’s included in the lease. It’s more of a nerdy challenge to myself. Well, we’ll see how it goes next year. Making it 2/3 of the way through January in Massachusetts wasn’t too shabby.

The TomTom Go Has Arrived

After seeing a co-worker with one and deciding I had to have one too, I bought the TomTom GO GPS device. It told me how to get to work this morning, because of course finding my way to work has been a continuous challenge. The thing runs Linux (in fact you can download the source here) and it’s about the size of a softball, but a slightly different shape. The coolest part about it is the 3D view of where you’re going. You can see streets ahead of you on this map before you actually see them out the windshield, and points of interest (restaurants, gas stations, etc) are laid out as well.

So, while en route to somewhere, you can call up a list of nearby restaurants or gas stations, touch one, and then it will tell you (in a normal, spoken voice) how to get there – turn by turn. It’s very cool, and very hackable. Hooks up to the PC via a USB port, and takes regular SD cards for map storage. I’m looking forward to using it somewhere where it could actually be useful. Tomorrow I’ll have a chance to try it out in Boston, and this weekend in Vermont.

Apple iProduct

Compulsive gadget-acquirer that I am, I nearly purchased the newly announced Mac Mini yesterday. The reason I didn’t is because I couldn’t really fill in the blank in the sentence “I would use it for ______” with a good answer. It’s to underpowered and unexpandable to be my primary machine. Because it can’t take two network cards, I coudn’t turn it into a router. Because it runs an Apple OS, I couldn’t run MythTV on it. It’s just so damn pretty.

Then I received an e-mail today that pretty much summarized why I wanted one: The Apple iProduct (it’s a joke). I’m not really a huge Apple fan, but their products definitely draw this kind of appeal.